I look around me. There's torn paper all over the floor waiting to be tidied up. There's also a sinkful of dirty dishes to be washed. Lunch to be cooked, nappies to be changed. I have yet to glance at the day's newspaper and my cup of tea has grown a thin layer of cream on top. But I want to sit here and sink further into the sofa. I don't want to disturb the chaos. I no longer wish order around my household. I'm still in my pyjamas as I settle down to respond to a tag from the wonderful Sur (I'm still waiting for your phone call). I'm supposed to write five things I love about being a mother.
1. I love the fact that I no longer need to appear civil in public. I can go to the supermarket looking like I've just spent an hour inside a tumble dryer along with bottles of jams and pickles and sauces and I'm likely to get sympathetic nods from fellow travellers.
2. I'm glad that I no longer need to bother with cosmetics or anti-ageing creams. The frowns that furrow my forehead and the bags that support my eyes cannot be undone by creams and potions created to ease lines caused by problems less vexing and milder than children.
3. Motherhood means that I no longer have to pretend to be well-read. I've dropped out of this rat race where people want to out-read others and clock up books in the same way as some of us clock up frown lines (read above). I'm no longer plagued by the fear that life being so short and all, I might never get to read all the books there are to be read and what with a book being published every other minute or so, I may never get to read enough unless I get started now or there will never be hope for me.
There are days when I couldn't be arsed to read. Because I'm so tired that my eyelids feel like they are cast out of lead. And it's fine.
4. I'm decidedly thrilled that as a mother, I'm no longer visible. Ads don't talk to me (unless they are for baby food or nappies or head lice shampoo). Fashion ignores me (who creates trendy clothes for plus-sized mothers-of-twos?). Songs don't appeal to me (yet another song about eternal love/maternal love/justplainlove? Yawn). TV tires me (where do I begin?). So basically, I'm unhinged and unobserved. I am not a demographic that interests anyone and I can wear my hair purple and roam around in kaftan for all I care. And no one would notice.
5. It's great that motherhood has drained me of all energy. I'm so tired, so tiringly tired. So tired of being so tired. So tired of being so tired of being tired. Most of the time. All of the time. Exhaustingly, achingly, overwhelmingly. Tired.
And then there are days like this morning. When I was being pinned to the mattress by two little bodies. And we are a jumble of flailing limbs and heads. We are suddenly cast adrift in the middle of Indian Ocean and we have to cling to each other for survival. We are in the middle of a snowstorm atop Mount Everest and we need each other to keep ourselves warm, alive. We are champion wrestlers in a tangle for an Olympic gold medal. We grapple and grasp. We toss about until we are worn out. And then my two boys sit on my stomach and bounce about announcing victory. I close my eyes, roll my head and pretend I'm dead. Knowing what happiness feels like.
p.s. Rules of the tag here. I hereby tag - Bhaamini (India), Prema (UK), Umm Oviya (Qatar), Deepa (US), Teesu (India) and anyone else who feels like it.